How to boost the immune system to get better from a illness faster


Boosting the immune system to recover from illness faster involves a combination of factors that can influence your body's immune response. Here are several strategies based on the knowledge shared by through the :

  1. Quality Sleep: Getting enough high-quality sleep, especially during the early stages of an infection, is crucial. Sleep enhances immune system function, and during infection, it can be associated with elevated levels of serotonin in the brain which aids immune response. The glymphatic system is also more active during deep sleep, clearing debris and aiding recovery 1.

  2. Exercise: Engaging in the right type and amount of exercise can bolster the innate immune system. Exercise is beneficial for overall health and immune function; however, intense and prolonged sessions could potentially deplete the immune system and may not be advisable when feeling run down 2.

  3. Sauna Use: Regular sauna sessions have been shown to increase leukocyte count, part of the innate immune system, and stress hormones like cortisol in ways that enhance immune function. However, caution is advised when already feeling sick, as it may not be beneficial 3.

    Sleep and Immune System

    Andrew discusses how sleep, particularly slow-wave sleep associated with early stage of infection, can enhance the immune system function that could combat the infection. He also talks about the glymphatic system, a system in the brain that clears out debris that accumulates under conditions of neuroinflammation and inflammation of the body, and how it's active during deep sleep.

    Huberman Lab

    Using Your Nervous System to Enhance Your Immune System | Huberman Lab Podcast #44
  4. Cold Water Exposure: Immersion in uncomfortably cold water for brief periods can significantly increase dopamine levels for several hours. Activating the dopamine system may accelerate healing and immune response 4.

  5. Breathing Techniques: Specific breathing strategies can activate the catecholamine system, promoting immune system coordination to counter infections effectively 4.

  6. Nutrition: Maintaining adequate nutrition is crucial for immune function. Caloric deficits or incorrect fasting practices can compromise the innate immune system 5.

  7. Thoughts and Mental State: A sense of hope and positivity, associated with the dopamine system, can lead to faster recovery. Stimulating the dopamine pathway by envisioning a positive future may boost immune health 4.

  8. Hydration and Gut Health: Stay hydrated and support gut microbiome health, which is also linked to immune response 2.

It is important to consult healthcare professionals before implementing significant lifestyle changes, especially when ill. Remember, these recommendations are intended to inform and empower self-care; they do not replace medical advice from healthcare professionals.